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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  May 12, 2010 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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wonder about what happened. what about this 911 call, clint? authorities haven't said who made the call. is that part of the investigation? >> well, it is. it may be something as simple as police are trying to protect someone. we know she had a boyfriend sheer she broke up, we're told she lived alone with the dog in her house, she was supposed to take a flight on sunday to go to a tournament, golf tournament in alabama on monday. so it could have been something as simple as a friend, new boyfriend, somebody who came by the house when -- just to give her a ride to the airport and police are trying to protect him. we just don't know at this point. >> all right. clint van zandt, thank you very much. in about a half hour supreme court nominee elena kagan will meet with senator dick durbin of illinois today. she is on capitol hill today two days after president obama announced her nomination to the supreme court. this morning she met with harry reid and mitch mcconnell.
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nbc's kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill. what are we hearing about the meetings already under her belt? >> reporter: well, so far everyone is speaking in friendly tones. we've seen photo ops as they're called in each of these meetings so far. you have two different points of view. harry reid the majority leader first to host the mom knee today spoke strongly in support of her nomination. and then when elena kagan met with mitch mcconnell the top republican in the senate he welcomed her but also said that he believed that republicans would insist upon a very thorough process and indicated he wants to be sure she would be independent minded. he brought up something from the other day when the president referred to kagan as a friend and mcconnell is raising the question, she would be part of an independent branch of government if put on the supreme court and would she be sufficiently inpend? that's part of the tone of the conversation that's going to be going on all week and certainly for the next several weeks because the actual hearings aren't expected until the final week of june.
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so lots of questioning. these private meetings are, senators say, an important way to get an assessment of the nominee and to build a little bit of a personal connection before a lot of the really intense back and forth unfolds. so she's about half way through. she has meetings all afternoon. we'll see a lot of this over the days to come. >> and her last meeting is with senator dianne feinstein. i'm curious. have we heard any more from the democrats who are more liberal or progressive regarding their concerns with this nomination? >> reporter: well, there are concerns raised because of issues like what has she done in the way of issues that matter to liberal progressives for example on abortion rights. there are some documents that show when she was in the clinton white house she encouraged the administration then to be supportive of a ban on later term abortion, those kinds of paper trails that are being looked at carefully and will unfold in the days ahead may give some clues but there are questions being raised by both ends of the political spectrum as people try to get to know who
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she is oand how she might perfom as a supreme court justice. >> thanks, kelly. investigators are still trying to recover victims from the devastating crash of a libyan airliner this morning. 103 people are feared dead and a 10-year-old child is said to be the sole survivor. this is a video of that child. the flight was from johannesburg, south africa, and crashed on approach to tripoli's airport. the weather was not a factor. investigators are searching for the cause of the crash. a reporter with our british broadcasting partner itv in london joins us. it's amazing to see the video of that 10-year-old child, the only person to survive that terrible crash. >> reporter: yes. amazing he survived at all. the search-and-rescue mission has now become a body count. it does appear that 10-year-old boy is the only person to emerge from the wreckage alive. earlier efforts here in london were to ascertain whether any of those onboard were british. it has been announced here in
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london just one person onboard the flight was known to be british. it was due of course to terminate its journey here in london after stopping over briefly in tripoli. eight other nationalities represented onboard. there were 11 libyans, the crew, 62 people from the netherlands, that dutch boy the only survivor one of them, but also passengers from germany, finland, zimbabwe, the philippines, south africa, and france. the question now is how that accident happened. there were question marks over the age of that aircraft, sometimes a factor in crashes on the continent of africa but in this case not a factor at all. that plane was brand new, came out of the factory in september of last year. it's been through a number of spot checks and has only had relatively few hours in the air. what about the weather conditions? people say was that a factor? well, it evidently wasn't. perfect flying conditions in tripoli. the cloud of volcanic ash which has been a trouble to european aviation not a factor here, well to the west of the crash scene.
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there had been question marks over the navigation lanes at tripoli airport. they were not state-of-the-art but were broadly in line with many other international airports across the world. as the search for the causes of the crash narrow down it looks like it was human error to blame. >> thank you very much. developing now the national weather service says eight different tornadoes touched down monday in central oklahoma. six different survey teems were deployed to assess the damage and discovered five of the tornadoes ranked as severe. frightening video from monday's swarm of tornadoes in norman, oklahoma. the camera captures video of a white van being tossed as if it were a toy. the van rolled over at least once. the driver said he just closed his eyes and held on to the steering wheel for dear life but he was able to walk away from that unharmed. incredible. americans who want to know if they're genetically predisposed to chronic conditions and diseases will
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have access to drug testing kits at local drug stores. starting friday consumers can pick up the tests off the shelf at walgreens. there is a real controversy over accuracy and what people will do with the information if it is correct. our guest is the author of "the decision tree, taking control of your health in a new era of personalized medicine" and supports these tests and hank is with stanford's law school and also the director of the law center for law and biosciences at stanford and is against the idea of the over-the-counter kits. thank you both for joining us. hank, i'll start with you on this one. we know the concerns about accuracy and i heard someone else say if someone learns they are predisposed to breast cancer they may go and take drastic measures before exploring other alternatives. >> i think my biggest problem is people need expert advice on how to interpret this information. it's not something we understand well. it's not something the person on the street knows a lot about.
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if you get back information without it coming through a doctor or a genetic counselor you may make harmful decisions. for example if you learn you're not at high risk for breast cancer you might decide to stop mammograms. that could be fatal because your risk may have gone from 12% to 11.99%. people need explanations. >> thomas, what do you say? this is a simple test. you swab, send the information in, and you are supposed to get this information. should it be that simple? >> right. it's very important you use the right word. it's information right? this is information about ourselves that i think if we want to go to a doctor we should absolutely have the access, the pathway, the test, the company giving these tests has genetic counselors on staff. but the idea we need doctors as intermediaries is actually not reflecting the true use of these things and the true capacity of us as ordinary human beings to
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understand this information. i think it's unfortunate. >> what about the concerns about accuracy with this kit? >> so the company uses what's called a certified lab so they are following the best practices for genetic testing. the question is what information are they providing that kind of suggests what people should do about these tests. what they should do about your results. and generally as long as you're kind of suggesting that people kind of take more action, be more proactive with their health, the research shows that when you give people engagement in their health and the opportunity to engage in their health they tend to make better decisions so we actually have much more confidence in our ability to process this information. >> hank, we've had these tests, genetic kits have been available online for a couple years. now as i point out you can go into the stores. so why is that really different when we know this has been available at least on the internet? >> well, first i don't think it is fundamentally different. i think the previous kbs had the same problems this company has.
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second, if you get somebody who is going on the internet to order the test, presumably that shows they have a little more interest, a little more knowledge, a little more background. they've taken the initiative to go onto the internet as opposed to one of the 305 million people in this country walking into a walgreens seeing this and saying, gee. that looks cool. i wonder what it's about. i worry about the mass audience. >> once you mail out, get the kit, i think it ranges, you pay another $79 to $249, thomas, depending what you wanted to be tested for. >> right. and it's important to put this into historical context. so the medical industry has a long history of telling people they shouldn't get access to things. right? we were told for decades we shouldn't have access to our medical records because the doctor is the only one who could make sense of it. we were told we shouldn't have access to lab tests because the doctor is the only one who can make sense of it. that's turned out not to be the case. we can process things like high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, we can make sense of
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this information ourselves and use it to make better actions. we shouldn't have to go to the doctor. the doctor is really a worth while resource but we shouldn't have to go to the doctor to get access to our own information. >> thomas, hank, you both have offered a lot of food for thought for people watching. thank you very much. president obama reaffirms his plans to withdraw u.s. troops after meeting with afghan president hamid karzai at the white house today. richard engel will join me with the latest on this meeting with the president. plus new developments in the effort to contain the spill in the gulf, a top hat to stop the gushing oil. and the death of a university lacrosse player yeardley love focuses attention on unreported cases of domestic violence that happen around the country on campuses. "sports illustrated" magazine, a writer will join us with a special report. supplements... aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food.
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welcome back. president obama held a high profile meeting at the white house this morning with afghan president hamid karzai meant to ease tensions that have escalated over the past year. the two leaders then held a joint news conference where they both downplayed their differences presenting a united front, a pivotal time in the nearly nine-year-old war. >> today we are reaffirming our shared goal -- to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda and its extremist allies in afghanistan and pakistan and to prevent its capacity to threaten america and our allies in the future. >> joining me now nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel who has of course reported extensively from afghanistan for us. richard, were there any big
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surprises here? i know we expected both of these men to present a united front. it's in the best interests of both countries to do so. >> reporter: no, i wouldn't say there were any surprises at all. the idea was to show the u.s. and afghanistan are on the same page. the president, president obama described the differences between the two governments as exaggerated and they are trying to come up with a joint time line. similar to what they did in iraq so what the u.s. did in iraq putting out a series of benchmarks and goals. in this case it is a time line that involves a peace conference that involves parliamentary elections and then another conference in kabul. so it was an opportunity for them to get together to show the world, to show the afghan people, to show congress that they are on the same page and have roughly the same goals. i don't think that they do but that was certainly the idea that was put forward today. i still think the u.s. and afghanistan and president obama and president karzai are not
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always on the same page. >> it's interesting, richard, with hamid karzai, his remarks showing gratitude to the american people for sacrificing, even mentioning that he went to walter reed to visit with soldiers back from afghanistan and iraq and he brought up the fact that he met with one soldier who had lost limbs as a result of the fighting there. >> president karzai wouldn't be president karzai, wouldn't have a country to govern if it weren't for the u.s. troops there so he certainly does have a lot to be thankful for. the u.s. troops provide his own personal security, after all. so if u.s. troops suddenly packed up and left the country, i think president karzai would have to go with them. he certainly does owe a debt of gratitude. it was good to see him expressing that. >> moving forward what can we expect next at least with this part of the meeting, what we see publicly going well? >> reporter: the next part of the meeting and president karzai brought with him almost his entire government is more meetings and this is probably the biggest trip that president karzai has done internationally
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in quite sometime. and what we're seeing is not only meetings with military officials, political officials, advisers, to try and come up with a unified strategy so that when karzai goes home, he goes home feeling connected to washington and that he doesn't do anything surprising. there is a big question mark. when karzai leaves now he is going back to hold this peace conference, this holding some sort of negotiations with the tnl. the u.s. wants to make sure when he goes back and does that with the tnl thaliban that he doesn'e any agreements, since the u.s. has so much commitment in afghanistan, wants to make sure before he goes into these crucial talks that they know what to expect. >> nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel, thank you very much. new photos out that allegedly show a new iphone
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prototype. we'll talk with the executive editor of c-net about whether this is really a new prototype. is this thing real or not? we'd like to know what you think about any of the stories we are covering. let me know your thoughts. maybe our executive producer can send a tweet since she is cackling behind us about the iphone. my nasal allergies are ruining our camping trip. i know who works differently than many other allergy medications. hoo? omnaris. [ men ] omnaris -- to the nose! [ man ] did you know nasal symptoms like congestion
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welcome back. new pictures have surfaced that once again allegedly show apple's next generation iphone. video and still photos that supposedly show this prototype of the iphone 4g surfaced on a tech website in vietnam. the device is identical in shape to the one featured last month when gizmoto came across an iphone left at a bar. joining me now a c-note executive. apple known for secrecy, protecting its product.
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could this be true? another prototype found in vietnam? >> well, there seems to be several of them floating around. this isn't even the first one out of the far east. there have been pictures out there. it very well could be. obviously looks very similar. >> what's going on here if these things are real? >> they have to make prototypes to make phones. >> so disgruntled employees or something? >> no, it's just very difficult to keep everything completely secret. i mean, the big thing i think people really want to know is whether they'll put out a verizon iphone. that's all the e-mails i get from readers. verizon iphone or not? right now you know it's going to be a little faster, a better processor and maybe better battery life and it has the front facing camera everyone is looking at for the i-chat. >> right. >> but other than that, there isn't any great big surprise here. >> why are people salivating over the verizon possibility? is it because of so many complaints with at&t's service? what's going on there?
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>> yeah. actually as an at&t subscriber you want there to be some outlet for at&t so you can get better service. hopefully everyone will rush over to verizon and my service will get better. >> we know when that first prototype was found at the bar gizmoto now involved in perhaps some legal trouble, there was even a raid at the editor's home. what does apple do now with a prototype that could be in vietnam? i mean, does their power extend even there? >> air strikes? i don't know. i mean, yeah. there's a lot of jokes going around about them sending a team in there to vietnam to go get this prototype. >> a computer fraud squad was sent to that guy's house with gizmoto. >> who knows where it came from? it could be taiwan. they just don't know. that's the other issue. it's hard to keep things secret these days. >> they'll have to give it to just like two employees and put one of those scanners or something on the hand. pass it along and get in trouble. interesting. we'll see what happens. david, thank you.
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>> look forward to the new iphone next month. >> we've already seen it now twice. thank you very much e. pennsylvania senator arlen specter makes a political gaffe. he mistakenly called a democratic group republican. this is the second time he's done that. he is in the race for his political life and he makes this kind of gaffe? oh, boy. plus a california teacher calls a student's picture of an american flag offensive. that's what the little girl and her mom are saying. they're going to join us. find out if this is "crossing the line." i'm live in london where there is a new coalition government in place, the first since world war ii. now what do they do? i'll have an update. no, it's just for new people. hey ! chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ? chocolate ! chocolate it is ! yeah but i'm new too. umm... he's new... er... than you. even kids know it's wrong to treat new friends better than old friends.
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welcome back now to the very latest on that massive oil spill in the gulf. louisiana wildlife officials say they found tar balls on the southeastern tip of the state. and now the white house is asking congress to raise the limit on how much bp has to pay
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to cover damages and support recovery from the spill. this morning lawmakers said a house investigation found a key safety device on the oil rig was faulty and that bp gave conflicting accounts on pressure tests conducted hours before the explosion that killed those 11 workers and caused the giant oil spill. meanwhile the company is set to try its latest attempt to stop the 200,000 gallons gushing into the gulf every day. bp says a two-ton top hat is on the sea floor and ready to be positioned over the leak. democratic senator arlen specter is not helping his cause, his own cause as he mounts a fierce battle against congressman joe sestak in pennsylvania's democratic primary. specter has served five terms in the senate until last year he was a republican. last night senator specter made a huge gaffe at a democratic dinner. >> i thank the allegheny republican committee for endorsing me for the democratic
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nomination. great pleasure to be endorsed by the allegheny county republicans and together we'll win for victory. >> our guest is politico's national politics editor. charles, thanks for joining us. >> hi, tamron. >> what was the reaction at that dinner when senator specter made that mistake? >> i know it was a lot of nervous laughter. people were obviously not expecting this to happen and the second time there was not only nervous laughter but a lot of no he didn't looks to each other. people were pretty surprised by that. >> i love that "no he didn't look" charles. that tickled me. serious business here. arlen specter is in trouble. we have the poll that shows the race is certainly tightening. april 7th specter 53%, sestak 32%. now specter 44% and sestak 42%. this race is tight. mr. specter cannot afford those kinds of mistakes.
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there are reports democrats are still suspicious of him. >> for 30 years democrats have been trying to beat arlen specter and all of a sudden party activists are asked to take his word for it that he is going to become a loyal democrat. you can afford to make gaffes as a politician but when you switch parties you can't do those things that underscore the very things primary voters are worried about in pennsylvania and his opponent is hitting the issue hard. can you trust arlen specter? is a real, loyal democrat? >> and there is a new ad from congressman sestak pushing that point. it shows the same lines that specter is trying to use with president obama supporting him, the very words from george bush when he was running as a republican. >> right. and the whole debate shows the rest of the party base. this is happening not only in the republican party but in the democratic party and there are a lot of party activists that are saying they're not going to take their marching orders from the white house or the state democratic establishment both of which have weighed in very heavily behind arlen specter's
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bid. >> it is an interesting development. that is a hot race. we'll be talking a lot about it. thanks for coming on with us. i think you have the line of the day. britain has a brand new government run by two men from completely different political parties. new prime minister david cameron the leader of the conservative party joined forces with nick clegg. this morning prime minister cameron spoke about the country having its first coalition government in 70 years. >> i think this is a sign of the strength and depth of this coalition and our sincere determination to work together constructively to make this coalition work in our national interests. >> nbc's stephanie gosk joins us live from our london bureau. i'm curious to the reaction of voters because some expressed unhappiness with the alleged secrecy and deal making behind the scenes. >> reporter: it's true, tamron. people were frustrated by it. this is supposed to be an open
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democracy and all of these wheelings and dealings as you say were happening behind closed doors. it took five days for this to happen and it is an unlikely and historic coalition between these two parties that are really on different ends of the political spectrum, the liberal democrats being more left wing of course and the conservatives being more right wing. somehow they've at least made the first step here toward making it work. they released their agreement today that shows compromise. now, just the fact that they created this coalition shows they've compromised on some level. they agreed to certain big issues that they disagreed over in the course of the campaign including some taxation issues, immigration, but one of the things this agreement does not outline explicitly is this idea of the deficit and how they're going to make very painful budget cuts in this country. david cameron says he is going to cut $6 billion in the next year. it's not outlined explicitly where those cuts are going to come from and if there is going to be an issue that these two
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leaders are going to butt heads over it is going to be over this. tamron? >> all right. stephanie gosk live in our london bureau, thanks. and a group of very young ladies perform a pretty -- i sound like an old lady. a group of young ladies have a great rendition of beyonce's "single lady." let's get the scoop from courtney hazlett. we took the cool out of it by me saying a group of very young ladies. exactly. forget the miley cyrus lap dance video. this is the video that is going viral today. take a look at these young kids. here is one. more of them show up. there we go. they do a spot on performance of "single lady." this is part of the world of dance tours, the largest nationwide urban dance competition. this video is actually just from last month on april 10 and is just now getting to the internet. these girls are supposedly 7 years old and they've really got some moves. >> look at them. >> what are their fathers
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thinking? >> did they win? >> they're worried right now. >> blind folded. >> exactly. >> have a heart attack seeing your kid dance like that. >> never too young i suppose. >> do we know if they won. >> no word on whether they won. that seems to be the story secondary to these 7 and beyonce. they're moving. they're amazing. on to more about glee. we were talking about it earlier in the context of the glee creator who wants people to boycott "newsweek." the subtext here is people are also talking about glee because neil patrick harris is going to be making a guest appearance and they finally released the promo for his appearance next week. take a look. >> brian, brian. he made my life a living hell. >> will's old rival becomes his new nightmare. >> his dream didn't work out. >> i cannot wait.
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i love that mullet in the flashback video. everyone is looking forward to that and to hearing more about this fellow with this "newsweek" story we've been talking about. we've been getting tons of e-mails since that segment this morning from people wanting to know what was the point this guy was trying to make? so i don't think we've seen the end of that but we can look forward to "glee" in the meantime. >> thank you very much, courtney. for the latest entertainment news logon to [ male announcer ] fishing pole, it's been a while.
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complications and also put babies on a path toward obesity later in life. >> welcome back. in today's true crime police in philadelphia are trying to figure out why one of their own would shoot himself and lie about it. sergeant robert ralston says he was on patrol last month in an area where a string of burglaries had taken place. he says he was on the lookout for anything suspicious when he stumbled upon two men. one ran away and the sergeant claims to have grabbed the other. >> the male spins around very quickly and when he does, he has a silver revolver in his hand. very quickly, the sergeant is able to smack the gun away. at that time the offender discharged at least one time, striking the sergeant in the left shoulder. >> the incident last month launched a massive man hunt. it lasted for weeks. the story started to unravel and yesterday sergeant ralston admitted he made the whole thing up. joining us now harry hairston of nbc philadelphia station wcau. harry, do we know why he would
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make this story up? >> reporter: you know, right now no one seems to be exactly why he made the story up. everyone is befuddled at the police department. they tell me they think he needs possibly some psychiatric help. that's what fellow officers are talking about. let me just tell you this is a city where over the past three and a half years seven police officers have been killed in the line of duty. so when you make a call like that, i'm a police officer, i've been shot, i'm hit, i'm down, people get ramped up. heart beats start beating hard, phoenix are out there looking hard. what is most disturbing according to the police commissioner is he did say those were two african-american suspects. the guardian civic league made up of african-american police officers here in philadelphia, they are outraged by this thing because they say it is unfair. it's just inflaming racial tension in the area, that builds distrust between the african-american communities and between the police department as well. so they're going to have a news
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conference about this tomorrow and voice those concerns. >> harry, i understand ralston has been suspended? was he fired? >> no, right now he is suspended with -- where they're going to definitely fire him. it is just a matter of procedure. they have to give you something like 30 days as far as following the procedure before you are fired. but he is definitely out of here. and the commissioner made it very clear yesterday. he said he is out of here as soon as he can get the paperwork typed up and put through. >> thank you very much, harry. three newspapers are fighting a judge's decision to seal the court documents in the uva murder case involving 22-year-old yeardley love. yeardley was found lying face down in a pool of blood earlier this month and police say she was the victim of blunt force trauma. her ex-boyfriend george huguely has been charged with first-degree murder. "the washington post" and two other papers want court records and documents to be open to the public. meanwhile, love's family and friends continue to mourn her death and wonder if this could have all been prevented.
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in fact, it is the focus of a new "sports illustrated" story called "did yeardley love have to die?" joining us is the senior writer of this incredible article. john, it is something that every parent should read, coaches, because people forget these are -- i don't know what it is but they don't realize this is happening and it's not just at that compass or with lacrosse players. it's across the board. >> it is across the board. it's one thing that jumped out was these circumstances as tragic and horrifying as they were, this is not a particularly unique fact pattern. there were a lot of warning signs. obviously easy to have 20/20 hindsight now but if you just sort of rewind the tape, this did not come out of the blue. there were a lot of warning signs building up. >> what is the culture with young people that, you know, they know so much these days but yet those things you want them to know walking away from a bad relationship for example are not heeded. >> you know, peer pressure is one of these terms that sort of makes us roll our eyes but here was a case of two athletes, both
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playing lacrosse, a lot of sort of intermingling between them. this wasn't some random guy. you blew the whistle here, if you kronconfronted here you wer also confronting a friend. there was a lot of strange interplay with that, plus it's the end of the semester, i think a lot of rationalization and drinking going on. you know, he's a great guy but he loses it when he drinks too much. i heard that a couple of times. >> really. >> you know, i just think the fact pattern here, the college campus environment, i think, is a big component. obviously it's a complex issue but something that was really disturbing on one hand, a relief to some students that this wasn't random apparently. by the same token this was not a unique set of circumstances. >> do these large campuses have facilities or places where people who are victims of domestic abuse or feel a relationship is going bad can go for help? >> they do. virginia has a women's center like most large schools would. but again, there is so much at play here. these are young adults. they're at the end of a
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semester. well, if i just can wait this out for two more weeks we'll go our separate ways. i just think the college campus, the age of the perpetrator and victim, it's just a really tough pattern. >> did you see anything unique to the fact that they both played sports? >> well, i mean, these are both two top teams. the men are the number one team in the country. and if you are to have intervened and sort of broken up the team fabric i think it's another component in all of this. these are two outstanding, top ranked teams. everybody knew everyone. and to actually have taken a stand could have meant some serious ramifications to this very successful team. >> it's an incredible article and when people hear the stats on the domestic abuse and escalating violence within young people and their relationships i think they will be stunned. thank you very much. "did yeardley love have to die?" is one of those must-read articles. president obama reportedly turns down an offer to hit the links with conservative talk show host rush limbaugh. find out what the president said about the offer.
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and a simple school art project turns controversial after a teacher criticizes a student's picture of the american flag. that's what the child and her mother are saying. we're going to find out if this one is "crossing the line" and hear from both sides. toyota hae a model of quality car making. but recently, the safety of our cars and trucks has come under question. and at toyota, this is something we don't take lightly. that's why we're making fundamental changes inside our company, to communicate with customers better, and respond to their needs faster. in addition, we're currently spending over a million dollars an hour to enhance the technology and safety of our vehicles. the result? our comprehensive star safety system is now standard on every vehicle we make. ♪ don't get us wrong, we know actions speak louder than commercials. but just know, your safety will continue to be a top priority
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there's a lot going on today. here are some things we thought you should know. a new book claims president obama refused to play golf with conservative talk radio host rush limbaugh. the author allegedly relayed the request through a senior democratic activist. the book "rush limbaugh army of one" is due out later this month. and some grandchildren of former presidents are joining the family business. president jimmy carter's 34-year-old grandson jason carter won a georgia state senate seat yesterday in suburban atlanta. and president richard nixon's 30-year-old grandson christopher nixon cox wants to run for congress on new york's long island seeking the republican nomination to run against four-term democratic congressman tim bishop. finally her publisher announced
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today sarah palin's new book will be released in november, called "america by heart, reflecti reflections on family and flag." in today's "crossing the line" a middle school student says her drawing of the american flag was called offensive. taryn hathaway drew the picture for art class at her middle school in salinas, california. her mother tracy says taryn's art teacher told her she couldn't draw the flag and is claimed to have called the picture offensive. taryn and tracy join us live from mountain view, california. thank you both for joining us. >> thank you. >> taryn, tell me what happened that day. >> well, that day she said draw, sketch whatever you want to so i decided to choose the american flag and i started sketching it out. in the white parts i started to sketch out god bless america. and she said, you can't draw that. and i asked why? she said because it's offensive. >> you also put -- >> she never said why.
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>> you put in god we trust as well, one nation under god? >> yes. >> this is what you say the teacher found offensive? >> yes. >> tracy, what did you think when she came home and told you this? >> i was in shock. i wouldn't think something of that nature would be offensive to anybody. every president i've ever heard has, you know, at the end of a speech said "god bless america." it's something that we just think is apparently, you know, just a national thing. and it turns out that, you know, for some people it's not. >> did you reach out to the school and the teacher? >> we did have a meeting with the teacher and the principal. he said he would look into the situation and he did. we did find that there was another student that had heard the comment and was -- she confirmed what taryn had said. at that point it turned out that the teacher told our daughter
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she shouldn't have gotten her parents involved that it should have been between the teacher and taryn. i was really disappointed in that comment. >> well, taryn and tracy, we'll get the other side of this because the school has reportedly received more than 200 e-mails and phone messages about this incident. we've got district superintendent mike brussa with us now. thanks for joining us. what is your version of this and what do you know to have happened that day? >> well, i'm not sure that it's going to be very easy to sort out all of what may have happened that day. something did happen. the stories fluctuate and flow. we would like to work out the situation with the parents and i think that based on what we've heard we can do that. but determining exactly what happened at this point because so much has been said. >> right. >> may be very difficult to do. do you at least know if the teacher told taryn that the words "god bless america" and "in god we trust" and "one nation under god" were
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offensive? >> you know, we have been able to talk to the teacher and i just think at this point it might really be difficult to determine what was said. i can acknowledge that something was said that the student was uncomfortable with and what we would want to do is work out with the parents and the teacher and everybody to make this thing work out well for everyone. >> is there any policy in the school that says that you can't write, you know, "god bless america" and "in god we trust?" is there anything on record like that at the school district? >> absolutely not. we're kind of perplexed because this teacher actually does a program called the yellow ribbon project where they do flags and cards that they send to american troops. in fact, last year she did a flag project where we exchanged a flag and she actually ran the program.
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>> right. >> with troops in iraq. and i have the flag here that she still has from that project. and a picture of u.s. forces with the flag that we sent over there. >> are you going to get all sides together? are you planning a meeting very soon with all sides to try to get this thing ironed out? >> yes, we tried to do it for friday but the parents weren't able to meet with us on friday so we'll work out another date next week. >> all right. superintendent mike brusa, thank you very much for coming on. we greatly appreciate it. best of luck in working this out. >> thank you. >> i know your school has received a lot of angry letters because of it. i ask the audience what do you think? give us your thoughts. did the teacher cross the line with the version that taryn and tracy have given? you can go to or you can twitter your response. we know the superintendent wouldn't verify what the teacher said but you hear the version and heard the version from tracy and her daughter, taryn. and from yesterday, are the new official misusa contestant
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photos too racy? 51% of you say, yes, they are. 42% say, no. 7%, ah, you're not too sure about that. 8,300 votes came in on this. some people commented like the more flesh i guess the better? i don't know. thank you for letting us know your thoughts. that wraps up this hour. i'm tamron hall. jeff rossen picks things up next. what do you have coming up, jeff? we don't have jeff. we'll be right back. we're also n the showing-kids- new-worlds business. and the startup-capital- for-barbers business. and the this-won't- hurt-a-bit business. because we don't just work here. we live here. these are our families. and our neighbors. and by changing lives we're in more than the energy business we're in the human energy business. chevron.
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tdd# 1-800-345-2550 that's why, at schwab, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 every online equity trade is now $8.95 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no matter your account balance, how often you trade tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or how many shares... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you pay what they pay what everyone pays: $8.95. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and you still get all the help tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and support you expect from schwab tdd# 1-800-345-2550 millions of investors. one price. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 investors rule. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 are you ready to rule? top of the hour here on msnbc. here are some of the stories we are watching for you at this hour. supreme court nominee elena kagan in the middle of a whirlwind day of meetings on capitol hill. this as civil rights leaders raise some questions about her time at harvard. a rising bill, new numbers already show the health care reform law is going to cost more than advertised. a mystery shocking the sports world. the female golfer found dead and police aren't saying what or who
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might have killed her. and a take-home test that could give you an idea of what disease you might get in the future. is it helpful? or just the worst idea ever? the hypochondriacs will be born. good afternoon to you from nbc world headquarters in norng. i'm jeff rossen. elena kagan is spending the day paying the traditional courtesy calls to members of the senate judiciary committee. kagan started the day by meeting with senate majority leader harry reid and then minority leader mitch mcconnell. this will continue into the evening when kagan wraps up a meeting with senator dianne feinstein. despite his early remarks citing kagan's lack of experience as a judge senator mcconnell now says he has no plans to prejudge her. >> i want to assure her and assure the public that we intend to go through a thorough process. it is, however, not a rush to
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judgment. and we'll have an opportunity to examine the solicitor general's credentials and evaluate that. >> meanwhile a brand new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll comes out at 6:30 tonight eastern time. we have a preview. americans were asked for their thoughts on the two-party system. 15% said it works well. 52% said it has real problems but can be fixed. 31% said the system is broken and it is now time for a third party. the congressional budget office now says president obama's health care reform package is likely to cost roughly $115 billion more than the original estimate. that means an additional spending over the next ten years if approved by congress would bring the total cost of the overhaul to well over $1 trillion. that brought stinging reaction today from republicans who were saying we told you so. this is what minority leader john boehner said. it was clearly irresponsible for


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